Prison Librarianship Policy and Practice


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About the Book

Prisoners are in a grey area regarding library services. Prison libraries violate many tenets of librarianship, with the justification of maintaining order. The field is de-professionalized—many positions are filled by persons without degrees in library science, and corrections administrators often write policy for services.
Critics cite the need to implement public library service models despite practical difficulties.
This book investigates state, national and international policies on prison libraries, reviews literature on the topic and describes partnerships between prisons and public libraries. Results from a national survey and follow-up interviews are included, providing a full narrative of policy outcomes in U.S. prisons.

About the Author(s)

Suzanna Conrad is the Dean of University Libraries at Towson University. Her research interests include human-computer interaction, scholarly communication and ethics in librarianship.

Bibliographic Details

Suzanna Conrad
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6633-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2702-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 3
List of Abbreviations 17
Part I: The Prison Library in Context:
Current and Historic Purposes and
Policies of Prison Libraries
1. Current and Historic National Policy 19
2. Current State Policy 32
3. Literature on Key Issues in Prison Librarianship 42
Part II: Neglect and Disadvantage:
The Prison Library as the Forgotten Field of Librarianship
4. Court Cases Affecting the Prisoner’s Right to Read 61
5. Court Cases Affecting the Prisoner’s Right of Access to the Courts 76
6. The Neglected Profession 95
7. The Prisoner as the Public Library Patron 107
Part III: Research and Discovery
8. Current Policies in Prison Librarianship: An Expanded Survey 119
9. Prison Librarianship in Practice: Interviews with Prison Librarians 143
Conclusion: Revisiting the Role of the Prison Librarian 169
Appendix A: Summary of State Approaches to Prison Library Services 181
Appendix B: ALA Advocacy Policies 184
Appendix C: List of Citations on Prison Librarianship 185
Chapter Notes 191
References 205
Index 213